As a leading contemporary figurative artist, Domenech chooses to express himself through objects, elements, feelings, balance, meditation, self-reflection, different situations and ultimately, his hallmark figures. But more than anything else, Domenech makes much of the need to convey peace and quietness, which is why when he first turned to paint, he opted to determine the visual likeness of the female form, and establish a sense of feminity. Itâ€™s clear from the outset that Domenech looks deep within himself when heâ€™s searching for answers and solutions to dilemmas, yet itâ€™s the presence of women that affords him a visual inspiration and powerfully illustrative muse who pictorially transmit the peacefulness, sensibility, sexuality and maternal instinct which Domenech demands of himself to promote and express through his body of work. However the popular artist insists that his female subject matters should never be looked upon as models in any other sense, and that if you look carefully at Domenechâ€™s signature works theyâ€™re never looking back directly at the viewer, rather their eyes are semi-closed in a fashion which implies discretion, intimacy and privacy.
Domenechâ€™s birthplace was Barcelona, Spain in 1952; born unto a working class family where his father and grandfather ran a small carpenterâ€™s workshop together in the heart of the bustling Catalonian city. Domenech grew up surrounded by wood, amassed furniture and sandpaper, with the constant smell of glue and varnish, where the workshop has provided for his family for as long as he can recall. Alongside of his traditional Spanish education, Domenechâ€™sextracurricular knowledge was compiled courtesy of the carpentry trade, with a view to him following in the family way. Which was all fair and good, only as Domenech admits, his personal passion lay in the field of art and design from a relatively early age, and by his own admission his grasp of maths and other subjects was poor. Fortunately an adolescent Domenech received private drawing lessons from his fatherâ€™s close friend, who had also taught his father the rudiments when he, himself was younger. Domenechâ€™s father you see, also had a great interest and indeed, gift for art, a passion father and son shared during the latterâ€™s formative years. Domenech remembers how as a child his father took him and his family to exhibitions on Sunday evenings so as to view his work, which totalled over 30 canvases in retrospect.
On completing his professional education in woodwork, Domenech attended the Tarrega Academy, where he honed his drawing and sketching skills, whilst also being exposed to and going on to perfect charcoal drawing attributes too. Using famous, iconic works as his muses, Domenech would draw the likeness of sculptures such as Davidâ€™s Miguel Angel, Miloâ€™s Venus, Senecaâ€™s head and many more, repeatedly, until such time as he was happy with the end result. This rudimentary self-teaching stood Domenech in good stead for the next chapter in his art education, as he gained a place on a design course at the High School of Arts and Crafts in the Masana School, Barcelona, where he studied for a further three years. Within this environment Domenechâ€™s mind was free to explore the creativity in anything and everything, and discover the things, concepts and artists that would serve to inspire him and his personal work further down the line.
Domenech has often pointed out that one of the most vivid events which inspired him to seek to become a painter was Vincent Minelliâ€™s film, â€˜The Mad Man with the Red Hairâ€™, which was based on Van Goghâ€™s life and his relationship with Gaugin. So influenced by this film was Domenech, he speaks of how, together with a close friend of his at the time, who was also interested in art, they used to take boxes of paints (Domenech borrowing his fatherâ€™s oils box) and head for the countryside to paint â€˜au plein airâ€™ landscapes, which they attempted to capture in a blatantly â€˜Impressionistâ€™ style.
In 1974 Domenech had the opportunity to present a selection of his art to the Sala Pares, a prestigious gallery in Barcelona, which was of course a marvellous experience (and one which was roundly met with approval from those who witnessed Domenechâ€™s art)for any young, aspiring artist who harboured ambitions of being a fully-fledged artist eventually. Alas, â€˜eventuallyâ€™ didnâ€™t happen overnight for Domenech, as he worked hard at the family carpentry business by day and pursued his interest in art during his spare time, yet it finally did some 15 years later, when in 1989 Domenechâ€™s professional life as an artist began to take shape. After turning his back on the family carpentry business, Domenech launched himself as a full-time artist, still stimulated by that initial response to his work over a decade earlier and more determined than ever to create an artistic legacy.
Although Domenech had had another timely brush with creative fate only a few years prior, when in 1985 he entered an Olympic-inspired competition dedicated to sporting artists. It turns out that Domenech had shown promise in both table tennis and mountain biking some years previous, hence the cross-fertalisational interest in the competition for his part. Citing the correlation between art and sports as engendered by the ancient Greeks as a precursor to what we recognise as the modern Olympic Games, Domenechâ€™s entry bagged first prize, an award which then enabled him to showcase the rest of his (then) collection of paintings to a host of art galleries in Spain.
More exhibitions followed, and much more exposure to his works, and the rest as they say is history; thanks to that initial catalyst.